Israeli Drowning Prevention Startup Sightbit Says Its Tech Can Revolutionize Beach Rescue

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By Simona Shemer, NoCamels October 24, 2019

The summer months may be over, but Israelis and Israeli visitors often head to the beach year-round to soak up the sun, cool off in the Mediterranean, meet friends, or unwind after a long day (or week) – away from smartphones and social media. Time at the beach inevitably comes with risks and in some situations, even the best-trained lifeguards may not be able to help.

According the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for seven percent of all injury-related deaths. It is the leading cause of death in children between the ages of one and four and the second leading cause of death in children between the ages of five and nine. A WHO Global Report says some 372,000 people drown every year.

While the risk of drowning can be reduced when lifeguards are in the vicinity, those lifeguards can only cover a certain expanse of beach at a time. Also, they need breaks. And they can rely heavily on binoculars and their own vision only for so long — eyesight (and stamina) can certainly falter after hours in the full sun.

An Israeli startup leveraging computer vision technology wants to help. Founded in 2018, Sightbit says it can prevent drowning by alerting lifeguards when swimmers are in danger.

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